Turkey welcomes Iran deal, urges Tehran to rethink regional policies

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey welcomed the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers on Tuesday, saying it was of vital importance for the stability of the Middle East, but urged Tehran to rethink its policies on issues from Syria to Yemen. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said transparent implementation of the deal would now be key and that the easing of sanctions would be of economic benefit to Turkey, which is one of Iran's major trading partners. But he also called on Tehran to play a constructive role in conflicts around the region. "We have to abandon sectarian-based policies and place particular emphasis on political dialogue. We need to contribute to resolution of these issues through dialogue. This is what we expect from brotherly Iran," Cavusoglu told a news conference. Turkey and Iran have in the past accused each other of trying to dominate the Middle East, backing opposing sides in the war in Syria and the crisis in Yemen, but their economic interdependence has kept relations broadly on track. Turkey's imports from Iran were nearly $10 billion in 2014 and its exports totaled around $4 billion. Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said the deal was "great news" for the Turkish economy as it would likely boost bilateral trade, while Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said it could unlock investment in the Islamic Republic. The Turkish Exporters' Assembly said bilateral trade would probably double to $35 billion by the end of next year in the wake of the agreement. (Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mark Trevelyan)